Dallas Kayaker Won’t Paddle in Trinity’s Standing Wave

In the wake of yesterday’s Environment Texas presser –  the one where they announced that the Trinity ranked in the top third of Texas’ most polluted waters – I decided to take the pulse of the Dallas kayaker.

Why? Because the Dallas City Council awarded a $3,376,359 contract to Ark Contracting Services of Kennedale for the Trinity Standing Wave project on Nov. 9 as a part of the consent agenda. Among other things, like creation of an access point, the contract calls for an in-channel standing wave feature where the Trinity River meets 1900 East Eighth Street or what amounts to artificial white-water features on the river. It’s designed to attract kayakers.

So, I asked Bryan Jackson, kayaker and president of the Dallas Downriver Club, what he thought of the Trinity’s pollution concerns and if the standing wave is something local kayakers would use.

“I still wouldn’t paddle in it. They can put it in there all they want, but that water is pretty dirty,” Jackson said. “The one in Fort Worth is dirty, but it’s ten times cleaner than the one here would be. I wouldn’t paddle in it to be honest.”

Jackson said the club leads clean up efforts for the Dallas portion of the Trinity, but they don’t actually kayak in it. For the paddle in water stuff they go to the Arlington portion of the Trinity.

The peeps at Ark say the project was supposed to be the first on their list for 2010, but construction has yet to start as talks between them and the city continue.

In the meanwhile, I’m waiting to hear back from representatives of the Trinity River Corridor Project to see if the standing wave is still a go.

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